Lip Reader Sues Police for 'Abandoning' Him

Lip reader charges police ignored request for security detail, leading to brutal assault that ruined his health and marriage.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Israel Police (illustration)
Israel Police (illustration)
Zuzana Janku/Flash 90

A resident of Israel's south who worked as a translator and lip reader for the police in the past has sued the Israeli Police, charging them of "abandoning" him and allowing him to be assaulted by a suspect whose lips he had read.

The seven million shekel (roughly $1.9 million) lawsuit was submitted to the Be'er Sheva District Court, Walla! reports Monday.

The man started working for the police in 2007 as an independent worker; he was brutally assaulted in 2011, leaving him partially paralyzed and wrecking his mental health and marriage, according to the suit.

In the lawsuit submitted by Attorney Ami Nahmani was written: "as part of his role he would carry out covert surveillance missions on conversations of suspects and the accused, both among themselves and with attorneys. This was for various and diverse investigative and intelligence-related goals."

Things went wrong in 2011, when the man was called on to help in the investigation of a youth at a Negev police station. He read the lips of those under investigation, who communicated in sign language. The man charges he was told to conduct the mission without camouflage or other cautionary means, leading his identity to be exposed.

As a result he received death threats from one of the investigated suspects, and was told to submit a complaint to the police.

The suspect was apprehended and placed in house arrest, but he breached the house arrest conditions and together with three others followed the lip reader and caught him, before brutally beating him all over his body, and dumping him next to the central post office of Be'er Sheva.

The lip reader was evacuated to the hospital, where it became clear he had been paralyzed in half of his body due to the brutal assault.

He claims that as a result of the attack and the damage it left on him his psychological health also suffered, leading him to a divorce from his wife.

The victim charges that he warned the police of the dangers inherent in his role and asked for a security detail, and accuses the police of criminal negligence.

"The police abandoned the plaintiff to his fate, with complete apathy and indifference to his health, physical well-being and even his life," reads the suit.